OMAHA, Neb. - Sophomore Marissa Janning topped the 1,000-point mark as the Creighton women's basketball team defeated Missouri, 77-51, in the First Round of the WNIT Tournament on Thursday, March 20.
The win lifted Creighton to 20-13 on the season, the eighth time in 12 seasons that head coach Jim Flanery has led the Bluejays to at least 20 wins. Missouri, meanwhile, closed its 2013-14 season with a 17-14 record.
Early in the contest it appeared that the Bluejays would run away from Missouri as Creighton scored the first seven points and went on to build a 14-2 lead (15:41). Creighton's opening 14 came from four different players, led by five from senior Sarah Nelson.
Down 21-9 Missouri raised the level of its defensive pressure to go on a 13-0 run, taking the lead for the first time at 22-21 (7:05).
Coming out a media timeout, Nelson answered for the Bluejays by draining a jumper from the elbow. After a Missouri bucket, senior Jordan Garrison stablized Creighton with a trifecta from the right corner, 26-24. Nelson pushed Creighton's lead to 31-28 with a trey from the top of the key with just over three minutes remaining in the half (3:19), but Missouri scored the final four points of the period to take the lead at the half, 32-31.
The Bluejays opened the second half as they did in period one, bursting out of the gate with an 11-1 run. Once again it Nelson leading the way with six points during the run to give the Bluejays at 42-34 edge (15:24).
Following a media timeout Missouri rattled off five straight, but Creighton responded with a 10-footer from freshman MC McGrory to key a 12-0 run. Junior Alexis Akin-Otiko scored the next 10 points of the contest on her own as Creighton took control of the game, 54-39 (9:44).
Creighton allowed Missouri no closer than nine the rest of the way, claiming the game 77-51.
Janning led Creighton with 19 points in the game to become Creighton's 26th member of the 1,000-point club. Janning entered the game with 986 points in just her second season with the Bluejays. Nelson closed the game with a double-double, notching 18 points and 11 rebounds. Akin-Otiko and senior Alyssa Kamphaus rounded out the Bluejays in double-figures as Akin-Otiko had 10 points, while Kamphaus grabbed 10 rebounds.
Missouri was led by 14 points from Lianna Doty, while Bri Kulas finished with 11 points.
Creighton now advances to the Second Round of the WNIT to face South Dakota State in Brookings, S.D. on Sunday, March 23 at 2 pm. The Bluejays and the Jackrabbits met earlier this season, as Creighton earned a 68-63 win on Nov. 12.
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